So Autism what is it?….
Autism is a developmental disability of the brain; autism is not a form of mental retardation.
The word autism can refer to several similar disabilities, like Autistic Disorder, Aspergers Syndrome, also Atypical Autism (a type of Pervasive Developmental Disorder, not otherwise specified) etc.. There are differences between these conditions, but on the whole they are quite similar.
The word ‘spectrum’ is used because, while all people with autism share three main areas of difficulty, their condition will affect them in very different ways. Some are able to live relatively ‘everyday’ lives; others will require a lifetime of specialist support.
There are three main areas of difficulty which all people with autism share these are referred to as the ‘triad of impairments’. They are:
“Difficulties with communication”; “Difficulties with social interaction”; “Difficulties with imagination”. Some autistic people may be affected more by one symptom, while others may be affected more strongly by a different symptom.
People with autism may experience some form of sensory sensitivity. This can occur in one or more of the five senses – sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. A person’s senses are either intensified (hypersensitive) or under-sensitive (hypo-sensitive).
For example, a person with autism may find certain background sounds, like the hum of a fridge for example unbearably loud or distracting, while the rest of us can ignore or block out the noise. To an autistic person the noise can cause anxiety or even physical pain, this can be referred to as an autism anxiety trigger.
People who are hypo-sensitive will often not feel pain or extremes of temperature. Some may rock, spin or flap their hands to stimulate sensation, this is called autistic stimming. An autistic person will use stimming to help with balance and posture or to deal with stress, another autism anxiety trigger
People with sensory sensitivity may also find it harder to use their body awareness system. Which tells us where our bodies are, so for those with reduced body awareness, it can be harder to navigate rooms without walking into objects or bumping into others. They will not appreciate what is an appropriate distance from other people to stand.
This can cause social problems, as the person will be unaware of the need for personal space and may stand very close, making people feel very uncomfortable.
They may also have problems with ‘fine motor’ tasks such as tying shoelaces, or fastening buttons…
Sometime autistic people may have learning disabilities, which can affect all aspects of their life, from going to school, to learning how to wash themselves, clean their teeth, Or how to feed themselves.
The symptoms of autism will vary from person to person each autistic person will have a different degree of learning disability.
Some autistic people will be able to live fairly independently, but may need some support.
While others may require lifelong, specialist support. However, all people with autism can, and do, learn and develop with the right sort of support and resources.
One such form of autism resources is something called autism social stories…These are short pieces of text with appropriate pictures-giving your autistic child, teen or adult specific social cues for everyday living skills.
Like how to wash their teeth, visiting the doctor, eating out. Social skills stories for autistic children and teens, or adults can be printed and used as instructions for all of life’s “normal” and “not so normal” life experiences and actions.
They can be like a best friend to an autistic person helping them feel better in, and cope with, situations they may struggle to understand or deal with – by giving them clear and accurate information about those situations.
Autism social stories are an excellent resource tool which can become a valuable part of an autistic person’s life.
To obtain these valuable autism resources, please visit us at www.autismsocialstories.com